Three Familial Articles

I got notification throughout the day today, at different times, that three people close to me had written articles for various publication. They are as follows:

First there was this one from my fatherLaws – But Not Hearts – Have Changed on Racism. “As a child, I listened to wonderful people who spent their lives on the foreign mission field, yet black people weren’t welcome in our church”.

Next, one from my cousin, Don GillilandInner Peace, Part IV on his visit to a Birmingham, Alabama, mosque. “The anxiety I’d felt earlier is beginning not so much to lift as to transform to an awareness of a closely-knit, healthy community. Not terribly different from the communities I’m more accustomed to.”

And last but not least, an editorial from my friend and high school class mate, Reverend Matt TittleLiberty University Dehumanizes Homosexuals. “This sort of ignorance, hatred, and hostility have no place in our society today. “

Now it is not surprising at all to me that these three people wrote these articles. What does kind of startle me though is that they all came out on the same day. Talk about serendipity! The other thing these articles say to me is that I am surrounded by some great people – and you can certainly tell where the ideas that help make up my life come from.

Testing The Waters

What motivates the traffic to a site? A friend of mine just wrote a blog post and some twitter entries that seemed, on the surface of things, to have increased his traffic suddenly. Does it work that way? Can the simple mention of the bible, pornography, and a porn star in the same article really bump traffic that noticeably? Especially when those subjects are not the normal thrust of your blog?

Jason Bradford, also known as ToneBox, wrote a post about a new movie called “Undersold“. Chrissy Moran stars in the film. She is a former porn star… and a famous and attractive one to boot. Jason says of his friend, “Chrissy’s story has some parallels to the original Bible story and she lives the part daily. That is where Grace comes in. Thankfully Grace is available to all of us no matter the road we’ve been down or are heading.”

So, this article serves a two fold purpose. The first is to get the word out about this movie and one of the great people in it. I think Chrissy Moran’s tale of moving from pornography to religious media is an interesting and compelling one. The second purpose is to try and prove or disprove Jason’s theory that his traffic spiked just because he mentioned the Bible and porno in the same post.

What do you think? Was that the reason his traffic jumped? Or was it a coincidence?

When Did Religion Become A Bad Word?

Is the rejection of religion on all fronts a reaction to the recent rise in ultra-conservative groups, or is there something else going on? I have been talking to a lot of friends and co-workers recently who are rejecting candidates on both sides of the presidential race because of their religion. What struck me is that these rejections are not because of the specific religion these hopefuls have, such as Mormon or Baptist, but because they have strong religious convictions at all.

InterfaithNow I could actually more understand rejecting a candidate for his specific religion than for the fact that they are religious at all. And as far as I have been able to ascertain, I don’t think any of the current mainstream presidential wannabes is planning on turning the oval office into a pulpit. But, I would readily welcome a candidate who is an intelligent religious person. I would find it heartening to elect a leader who has been through the questioning phase of any religious journey and come out with a better understanding of themselves and what they believe in.

Unfortunately I believe that many people are trying to take the separation of church and state a little too far. Instead of making sure that government makes no laws that would impede the freedom of religion, there is a current wave to instead have the government act in such a way that it takes away the freedom to have a religion. I firmly believe that to be truly open and free in our religion (or lack thereof for some), we must allow others to have theirs. If not, aren’t we just as bad and dogmatic as those who would force their religion upon us?